Sunday, January 29, 2017

Gooduckey Soup

Finally, I had all the ingredients amassed to make this soup! Usually it's turducken but this year we also had a goose, so I could play around a bit. Yesterday I made the turkey stock - two gallons of stock. Don't judge.

Here's the ingredients for this year's batch of poultry wonderfulness:

2 leeks, sliced
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 package each of portabella and shitake mushrooms, sliced
12 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
4 cups turkey meat
2 cups each duck meat and goose meat
1 cup wild rice
1/2 cup farro
4 quarts turkey stock
2 quarts duck stock
2 quarts goose stock
salt, pepper and tarragon to taste

Once the vegetables are sautéed, the meat and stock were added to the pot. This was brought to a boil and then simmered for at least 30 minutes. After that, the rice and farro were added and continued to simmer until done, about another 30 minutes. Super easy, as long as you have everything ready to go.

Now I have 14 pints of soup in the canner, and at least 3 more quarts in various containers in the fridge and the freezer. I can use the non-canned stuff for lunches at work over the next week and gradually start to dip into the canned ones later. 

Once these are done, I will can the rest of the turkey stock. Eight Nine(!) pints worth. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Year of the Rooster

Today is the Chinese New Year and a friend of ours was hosting a celebratory dinner/housewarming party. I wanted to make something at least remotely traditional and didn't have a lot of time. A quick Google search yielded various cookies and then I found a recipe for Chinese peanut candy. I've seen this stuff in Chinatown, little batons wrapped in plastic, always factory-made. I'd never even thought about making it from scratch. But it was so easy! The peanuts are roasted and then mixed with salt and five spice powder, then put on a baking sheet with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Then the sugar is cooked with water and a little vinegar for 16 minutes and poured over the top. When the sugar is poured, the candy is sprinkled with more sesame seeds and, after a few minutes, cut into pieces.

A few notes to self: the amount of the sugar wasn't enough, so while I doubled the recipe I should have tripled the sugar portion AND maybe use a little less of the red pepper flakes. It has a kick.

Another gift I brought for my friend was paté, made from a combination of chicken, duck and turkey livers. I'd saved a bunch of livers from all our various roast birds and ended up with 18 ounces of liver. That, when cooked with the shallots, garlic and duck fat, made two 12-oz loaves of paté. I made the paté a few days ago, using this recipe, and had frozen some of my share for later meals. I think my friend may do the same. Twelve ounces is a LOT of paté.

The other project for today was making turkey stock. I now have all the stocks I need to make Gooduckey soup, which I think I'll do tomorrow. I have a ton of turkey meat, some duck and some goose meat to go with all the stocks. I just want to pick up some more exotic mushrooms and then I'll have everything I need. I didn't can the turkey stock yet; I'll take what I need for the soup and then can the rest.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


Yesterday, I made a batch of snickerdoodles. They were so easy! But I used my #24 scoop, which was too much dough per cookie. It's my smallest scoop, and I thought I'd be OK. Not really. Some of the cookies ended up hexagonal because they ran into each other. I decided to try again.

Today's batch was a touch different. Rather than rolling them in cinnamon and sugar, I decided to use cardamom and sugar instead. Which meant, of course, that I needed to add some rosewater to the dough! I added a teaspoon of rosewater. Maybe not enough. It smelled great before baking but lost the rose flavor/scent after. The cardamom tasted great, though!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


That's the sound I hate to hear when I have the pressure canner going. It means something has gone awry!

For New Year's Day, we were coming back from skiing and a friend had purchased a goose with a plan that she would cook it at our house after we got back. THAT plan went off without a hitch. She found a terrific recipe for roast goose, complete with a gravy that was just OK until the last ingredient was added - minced goose liver. Then the gravy was phenomenal. And I'm not usually a gravy fan! (I'll admit, I had eyes on that liver so I could add it to the paté I'm making soon but, I agree, the gravy needed it more.) We saved all the bones to make stock and I set aside some chopped up meat in the freezer to make a different soup variation...Turgoosuck. Well, maybe the name still needs a little work.

Last week I took the bones out of the freezer and made stock. Four quarts of stock, to be exact. And I set them aside until I had time to can them. See, to make the soup, I need turkey, duck and goose stocks, and I can only really make one at a time. But I've been busy, so I haven't had the time I needed to can them. Until today. And only because the youngerchild is sick and wasn't in school and so isn't doing the usual afternoon activities. So. I took the stock, which was cold, skimmed off the fat and poured it into four quart jars. Which were also cold. I put cold water in the pressure canner, left the top off, and heated everything up together. This seemed to be going fine. Then I put the lid on, and continued to heat everything up until it started to vent steam. After it had vented steam for five minutes, I heard it.


Sadly, I know what that means! I turned off the burner, undid the canner and, sure enough, one of the jars had snapped at the bottom. The TINK was from the jar pieces hitting each other in the canner. I had to take everything out, rinse out the canner, and put in new water. Which, now that the jars of stock were hot, had to be heated up before I could put the jars back in. Once everything seemed to be the same temperature, I put the jars (three of them) back in and am trying again.

So much for trying to be clever.

Also, I'm making duck stock today, and will can this as well. Then, all I'll need is time to make the turkey stock and then I can devote an afternoon to making soup. Turgoosuck soup. Durkeese? Gooduckey?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Muffins and My New Scoops

Good morning! We awoke to about 6-8 inches of new snow and before anyone felt like shoveling a proper breakfast was required! I pulled out my school cookbook and found a recipe for berry muffins. I had to cut the recipe in half, or I would have ended up with 32 muffins! This also gave me an opportunity to use my new scoops so I could distribute the batter evenly amongst the muffin cups. The tops were sprinkled with sanding sugar, yum!

Yesterday during the snowstorm I went to a friend's house to teach her how to make macarons. What I found was that, even with her newer and better functioning oven, they still didn't do the right thing. I'm not sure where to go from here, but I've been eyeing professional grade convection ovens for my kitchen and I might just have to go that route. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Meyer Lemon Ideas

Happy New Year!

There's lot to write about, particularly the adventure of co-roasting a goose for dinner the other night, but I'll get to that when I make goose stock, hopefully soon. Today's slow-payoff project was to brine Meyer lemons.

A few weeks ago I'd purchased Meyer lemons to make curd but never got around to it. As it's the beginning of the season around here, I figured I will have a chance in a few weeks to do that but these lemons really shouldn't wait that long. My sister tipped me off to a blog called Punk Domestics (although, I think I made the slow cooker pulled pork using a recipe from there a long time ago) and I saw that someone had brined lemons for a year, dehydrated them and then ground them into a powder which was used as a spice. That sounds awesome. I want to do that.

Getting the lemons brined is a very quick process. I followed these instructions and incompletely quartered them and salted them, but when it was time to get them into the jar I added bay leaves and some water which had been boiled and then cooled, so I knew it was sterile. I'll leave it on the counter a few days until the salt has been dissolved and then they'll go into the fridge for 6-12 months.

That gives me that much time to figure out if I want to purchase a dehydrator or maybe by then I'll have an oven with a dehydrator feature. We'll see!